BEIJING: China conducted test flights of passenger planes on Monday at its new $11.5 billion airport in Beijing that is set to become one of the world’s busiest after it opens later this year.
The much-anticipated Daxing International Airport, located 46 kms from the city, is designed to take pressure off the overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), one of the busiest in the world.
The new airport located at the junction of Daxing district and Langfang, a city in North China’s Hebei Province, will have seven runways and is expected to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2021 and 72 million by 2025, state-run CGTN reported.
China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China and Xiamen Airlines sent their flagship Boeing and Airbus planes for the test.
So far over 50 airlines have expressed their interest in operating from the airport.
The new airport carried out test flights, verified various systems in the airport, including flight procedures, minimum performance criteria, communication facilities navigation, meteorology, runways and the airfield lighting system.
This is the first time that commercial passenger aircraft have landed at the airport, signalling that the basic construction is complete. After this verification, the airport will go on with its efforts to get ready for commercial operation, the report said.
The airport is of the highest standard in China and has the longest runways to provide the best condition for planes to land. The budget for building the airport amounted to $11.5 billion, the report said.
The test followed the airport’s first flight of verification planes on January 22 this year. The construction process is set to end by June 30 and the airport is scheduled to take low-visibility flight test in August and go into operation by September 30.
The new airport is 67 kms away from the BCIA, one of the busiest in the world. Ninety-six million passengers passed through the BCIA in 2017.